Cedar Rapids is Flooding Rapidly!

Ava F., Staff Writer

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What is climate change?

Climate change is what is effecting our every day life. Climate change is when
temperatures, climate and weather quickly change due to pollution. This happens
because of the greenhouse affect. The greenhouse effect is when gasses like carbon
dioxide are put out in our atmosphere and it allows heat to come in but not escape. Thus,
causing the greenhouse effect. The heat that is now trapped in the atmosphere warms it
up which causes temperatures to rise. The rising temperatures effect Cedar Rapids by
rapidly flooding it. And in other places such as California the rising temperature are
causing things like droughts and wildfires.

Why is climate change effecting Cedar Rapids?

As you know, climate change is causing the atmosphere to heat up. But why does
that cause flooding in Cedar Rapids? The rising temperatures are causing glaciers to
melt. These glaciers flow into the ocean and the water levels rise! The rising ocean levels
means more water is evaporated. The water then condenses into storm clouds and it
eventually precipitates. Since, more water evaporated more water will precipitate. The
excess rain water has no where to go so it floods towns like Cedar Rapids and goes right
back into the ocean. The water that goes back into the ocean causes the sea levels to
rise again and the process repeats itself!

The devastating consequences of the flooding

Crops need water and carbon dioxide, so why does the greenhouse effect them? Well, they do need both of those things to
survive but carbon dioxide is not the only gas that’s put out when humans pollute the earth. Methane, nitrous oxide and ozone are all greenhouse gasses that are also being put out and an overwhelming amount of these gasses can have a negative affect in plants. The temperatures are rising which in some places like Texas, it means more droughts! These droughts give the plants no water and they become parched and die! But, in Cedar Rapids that’s not case. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Floods are what’s harming agricultural in Cedar Rapids. The large amounts of water are drowning plants. Too much of practically anything can kill crops. Another effect of the flooding is unsafe drinking water. Rainwater can rush off a landscape and the rushing water can bring pollutants and fertilizers off the land and into a water source. The large amounts of flooding will have a large impact on agriculture! But, there’s still things we can do to stop climate change! And the floods!

What can be done about the flooding?
To prevent flooding we should work on many important factors. One of them is land use policies. Wetlands and flood plains are places where water is easily absorbed and the more we have of these, the less likely the flooding. Buildings that are built on these plains should not be allowed. This way, the plains are open so water can be soaked into the ground. Land use policies also include restoring wetlands that are already flooding. Another factor is farm drainage policies and Urban storm water policies. The government could make grass waterways on fields/plains and stream buffers. Stream buffers slow down the flow of fastmoving water which will give the water more time to be absorbed. Once they slow down the flow, it will be less destructive. Local governments can also plant swales, develop rain gardens and use rain barrels on their property. They can also encourage citizens to do the same. A policy that I think should be made is not allowing buildings to be built on prairies, woodlands,   wetlands and other places that store storm water.

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